A is for Audacity

September 30th, 2007 16 Comments

Apple is killing me lately. I’m no fanboy by any means, but over the past few years, I’ve been pleased to see their rise from the ashes. A decade ago, I graduated from a Mac college into a world of Windows 3.11 and 95.

What a shock. The business world ran Windows, not Apple. The most workable version at the time was NT because it protected the kernel from bad stuff, like software and hardware. I always felt that Apple had a superior O/S, and until recently, maybe up to XP, they did.

Today is obviously a different world entirely. The broad consumer approach of the iPod has rejuvenated the company across all its product lines, and Steve Jobs can do no wrong.

Not. Those who read this blog know I own an iPhone, as does my wife. We are both early adopters. This week, my wife’s iPhone suffered a gravitational accident, i.e. she dropped it, hard. You’ll have that with handheld devices. The result is similar to Kevin Rose’s iPhone, the glass is cracked, but the unit is still functional.

So, she called Apple support, and basically, apparently, the “repair” process is essentially buy a new one for $250. She’ll get the $49 repeat purchaser discount, assuming they have a 4GB model in stock. The 4GB is being discontinued. I wonder what happens if they can’t get a hold of one of those. Probably hosed then.

I am Jake’s boiling rage. I haven’t gone to the Apple store yet, but let’s assume based on recent behavior they won’t deviate from this policy. Here’s a list of other ways that Apple has turned its back on loyal customers lately.

The bricking thing is bound to get the at large hacking community into a tizzy. Apple (i.e. Jobs) should have found another way. Didn’t he get the memo from Digg? Remember the HD-DVD decryption key fiasco? Even further back, anyone remember the war DirecTV/Hughes waged with hackers?

Update: A user called KeeptheiPhoneFree has produced an ironic “tribute” (via Engadget) to those who think differently, remember that Apple ad campaign?

Another Update: My wife reminded me of the issues we had with iPod Minis when they were introduced. The sound became very choppy and full of static after very light use. We were told that the little guy was out of warranty and a repair would cost close to $100. We eventually talked them into a replacement, since the warranty had recently expired, but the replacement had the same issue within days. Incidentally, they were both blue and the subsequent (other colored) ones were fine for a while. They eventually died for no apparently reason, leading me to question Apple’s very anti-green policies, i.e. by making the repair cost such a high percentage of the cost of a new model, they are encouraging waste and promoting a throw-away attitude. Apple has been criticized for its lack of greenness in the past.

You know who drives all these audacious, autocratic decisions. Steve Jobs drives that bus, and lately, he’ll throw just about anyone under it–customers, former executives, early adopters, fanboys, you. Let’s not forget Jobs and options backdating scandal. Personally, I don’t think that’s going away anytime soon.

So, what happened here? Apple used to be known for its human side. Maybe that’s just in comparison with Microsoft, but still. Lately, they’re rolling roughshod over everyone. Jobs seems to think he’s immune from any criticism. Witness his initial stonewalling of the faithful who bought full-price iPhones.

I don’t see this trend toward audacity going well for Apple and Jobs in the next 12-18 months. Mark my words, A will stand for apologetic soon.

Final Update: As with anything Apple, the backlash is spreading across the Interwebs. I found this collection of Apple hate-posts from BFF via Twitter.


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16 Responses to “A is for Audacity”

  1. Eddie Awad Says:

    Sorry about your wife’s iPhone Jake. I treat mine, my iPhone that is, like a rare piece of jewelery, but still gravity may win some day, or maybe my one year old daughter’s little hands may do to my iPhone what gravity has not :)

  2. Eddie Awad Says:

    Sorry about your wife’s iPhone Jake. I treat mine, my iPhone that is, like a rare piece of jewelery, but still gravity may win some day, or maybe my one year old daughter’s little hands may do to my iPhone what gravity has not :)

  3. Jake Says:

    Yeah, oddly enough, she dropped it (again) while I was reading your comment. No kidding. Oh well, obey gravity, it’s the law.
    Jake

  4. Jake Says:

    Yeah, oddly enough, she dropped it (again) while I was reading your comment. No kidding. Oh well, obey gravity, it’s the law.
    Jake

  5. Niall Litchfield Says:

    Hmm

    I don’t really recall Apple the business ever being people oriented. They were what I would call design oriented – that is they made really cool products that were/are designed to work well with people using them. They were always locked down, poorly expandable, proprietory and expensive and and… Pay a premium for good design and ‘coolness’.

    Good luck with the ‘repair/replacement’ thing anyway.

  6. Niall Litchfield Says:

    Hmm

    I don’t really recall Apple the business ever being people oriented. They were what I would call design oriented – that is they made really cool products that were/are designed to work well with people using them. They were always locked down, poorly expandable, proprietory and expensive and and… Pay a premium for good design and ‘coolness’.

    Good luck with the ‘repair/replacement’ thing anyway.

  7. Jake Says:

    Maybe when anyone but Jobs was running the show, but yes, you make a good point. They did at one point claim they but technology for the human race. Anyway, it’s appalling the way the majority of customers are treated, especially after paying the premium you mention.

    We’ll see how it goes.

  8. Jake Says:

    Maybe when anyone but Jobs was running the show, but yes, you make a good point. They did at one point claim they but technology for the human race. Anyway, it’s appalling the way the majority of customers are treated, especially after paying the premium you mention.

    We’ll see how it goes.

  9. jack Says:

    Jake,

    As you and I have talked, you know we share very similar feelings regarding Apple, so you know I’m no Apple Fanboy either…that being said, I guess I’d like to know what you’d like Apple to do with your wife’s dropped iPhone? Should they give you a new one for free? If you dropped your Moto Razer, what would Motorola give you? I know it’s only a matter of time before I drop my iPhone, so I’ll probably be as upset as you when it finally happens. Slippery little guys they are.

    As for Apple bricking hacked iPhones, I have to say I wish Apple would have just ignored it and let the hacking go on as is. For you and your wife (and me as well) being early adapters, you were willing to pay full price for the features that were included in the phone as no hacks existed when you made the purchase. Sure the hacking community is pissed, but they’re really such a small percentage of the marketplace Apple and it’s shareholders probably won’t care. I’m sure Microsoft is finally enjoying seeing Apple get beat on by the computing community for a change.

    The battery issue, I agree 100% with you. We’ll all cross that bridge sometime and it will be interesting to see how Apple handles it. I feel like my battery doesn’t last like it use to when it was new, but it may just be me using my iPhone more and more as a laptop replacement.

    Lastly, $0.99 ring tones of songs I’ve already bought. I can’t come up with any justification for that!

    jack

  10. jack Says:

    Jake,

    As you and I have talked, you know we share very similar feelings regarding Apple, so you know I’m no Apple Fanboy either…that being said, I guess I’d like to know what you’d like Apple to do with your wife’s dropped iPhone? Should they give you a new one for free? If you dropped your Moto Razer, what would Motorola give you? I know it’s only a matter of time before I drop my iPhone, so I’ll probably be as upset as you when it finally happens. Slippery little guys they are.

    As for Apple bricking hacked iPhones, I have to say I wish Apple would have just ignored it and let the hacking go on as is. For you and your wife (and me as well) being early adapters, you were willing to pay full price for the features that were included in the phone as no hacks existed when you made the purchase. Sure the hacking community is pissed, but they’re really such a small percentage of the marketplace Apple and it’s shareholders probably won’t care. I’m sure Microsoft is finally enjoying seeing Apple get beat on by the computing community for a change.

    The battery issue, I agree 100% with you. We’ll all cross that bridge sometime and it will be interesting to see how Apple handles it. I feel like my battery doesn’t last like it use to when it was new, but it may just be me using my iPhone more and more as a laptop replacement.

    Lastly, $0.99 ring tones of songs I’ve already bought. I can’t come up with any justification for that!

    jack

  11. Jake Says:

    I want Apple to fix my wife’s screen at a cost that’s not 83% of the cost of a new one. I don’t want something for free; after all, it’s not a defect in the product.

    Doesn’t it seem like their repair policies tend toward replacement policies? I think it’s irresponsible to make the repair costs so high.

    Bricking has also affected non-hackers who installed 3rd party apps, so it’s not just hackers.

    Anyway, the next 12-18 months will tell a lot about Apple. I think Jobs won’t be able throw anyone else under the options backdating bus, which will spell disaster for Apple.
    Jake

  12. Jake Says:

    I want Apple to fix my wife’s screen at a cost that’s not 83% of the cost of a new one. I don’t want something for free; after all, it’s not a defect in the product.

    Doesn’t it seem like their repair policies tend toward replacement policies? I think it’s irresponsible to make the repair costs so high.

    Bricking has also affected non-hackers who installed 3rd party apps, so it’s not just hackers.

    Anyway, the next 12-18 months will tell a lot about Apple. I think Jobs won’t be able throw anyone else under the options backdating bus, which will spell disaster for Apple.
    Jake

  13. dc crowley Says:

    Apple will not be able to keep up this charade. You can’t buy a Ferrari that turns into a brick after a few months. At least they will be opening up the iPhone to 3rd party apps.

    I sure hope Apple will have to abandon the exclusive deals with telcos. The pricing is unrealistic medium to long term. But at the moment it is selling well. Got to give them that.

  14. dc crowley Says:

    Apple will not be able to keep up this charade. You can’t buy a Ferrari that turns into a brick after a few months. At least they will be opening up the iPhone to 3rd party apps.

    I sure hope Apple will have to abandon the exclusive deals with telcos. The pricing is unrealistic medium to long term. But at the moment it is selling well. Got to give them that.

  15. Jake Says:

    dc: Yeah, their current stance seems pretty risky, but then again, they are among the darlings of Wall Street right now. So, at the end of the day, who at Apple cares as long as the shareholders keep getting paid?

  16. Jake Says:

    dc: Yeah, their current stance seems pretty risky, but then again, they are among the darlings of Wall Street right now. So, at the end of the day, who at Apple cares as long as the shareholders keep getting paid?

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